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Simplified Seismic Design Trends

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I’m looking for some help in identifying any movements or trends to support a simplification in seismic design. I recognize that we have efforts to that effect in the building code (and they are greatly appreciated by small budgeted projects) and am interested in both participating and encouraging these endeavors.


While one mans simple is another’s complex, it does seem to me that the trend in code making is a both/and mentality. It’s wonderful that we have both researchers and practitioners hammering out rules, but I fear we’ve lost the ability to distill what we know and focus on getting the most for our design dollars. Perhaps I’ve developed this sinking feeling based on comparisons between my practice 20+ years ago and today. I’ve been (and continue to be) an ardent supporter of EQ code evolution and think for the most part the directions have been justified. I get frustrated however by the quickly adopted provisions which get universally applied to general building design and then get massaged with additional formulation and exceptions. (EOR = End of Rant)


Of late I’ve been coming back to the thought….. if Einstein can boil science down to E=mc2, then surely mere structural engineers can aim toward M=wl2/8.


Your comments and suggestions would be appreciated.  


Barry H. Welliver